GroupSourcing; and How It Can Kill Your Habitual Work Syndrome(HBS)

September 18, 2007

I cant explain the excitement I have in writing this certain post on The Lifestyle Maverick blog because I am about to unveil one of the most integral aspects of freeing your time from mind-defining tasks so that you may pursue more fulfilling aspects of life. As i write this, America continues to be overworked and studies show that the average weekly work hours combined for a household family is continuing to rise with no sign of slowing down. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with earning an honest days wage, my problem is within earning an honest days wage(or less) and not living a life of substance due to that. And honestly through the majority of people, this seems to be the case.

A study done by Edward C Prescott, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and W.P. Carey Chair, with the Department of Economics at Arizona State, showed that Americans now work 50 percent more than Germans, French, and Italians. And the odd thing is that this was not the case around 25-30 years ago, when the majority of Western Europeans worked more than those in the United States. Now, all be it, I know that our advance as an industrial performing country as well as marginal tax rates on labor income can be pointed to for some of this effect. However I firmly believe that the simple fact that Americans are programmed in believing that they now must work 60+ hours a week just to keep up with the Joneses is a large factor.

As masses of individuals march to a numbing existence behind a desk day after day, the simple fact that they do it because that is the “normal” and “typical” thing expected of them lies at the heart. It is something that I prefer to as Habitual Work Syndrome(or HBS). HBS in its simplest terms is the act of working for works sake, or rather punching in 9-5 (or in today’s standards 9-9) not because you necessarily enjoy your job or even need the money but rather because that is what everyone else in your office is doing. Its following the herd to the slaughter and it literally is killing many of Americans, as well as their dreams of a life that is filled with excitement, pursuits, and passions.

With that let me introduce “Groupsourcing“, which as you will find can be integrated not only into workplace situations and tasks, but to any and all tasks assumingly associated with life . Groupsourcing is the direct derivative to outsourcing(which is what the larger majority of lifestyle designers favor as of late). Outsourcing in effect is to subcontract services from an outside source, such as if a small business were to outsource its bookkeeping to an accountant firm. Basically , it is handing off work that you do not desire to do or you know can be done more accurately by someone else for a fee. It is done by some of the largest corporations in the world, and even by a vast majority of individuals who would rather have someone in India perform a task related to work for them. Outsourcing can even be found in small neighborhoods……when a homeowner outsources the mowing of his lawn to a teenager down the street. In terms, outsourcing is found everywhere….you just may not know it.

PROBLEM=SOLUTION 

Groupsourcing, in the same terms can hold a vast advantage over this. It, in effect is sourcing out (or rather bidding out) your work or life related tasks to a group of individuals or firms for performance, with the desired result being finding the one that performs said task most to your liking. The advantage that I find in groupsourcing is that you have multiple options to choose from when deciding exactly what you want performed.

For instance, if I want to set up a new online business I need a quality and attractive website that I feel values the image of my company. If I outsource the design through Brickwork, an outsourcing company in India, I am stuck with their end product whether I like it or not because I only have their end result to choose from. However, with groupsourcing I can go online to Sitepoint and submit a contest through their site. With the contest I will have a handful of designers who will post their adaption of the site I long for. If I don’t like one designers work then that’s OK….I still have numerous other designs to choose from. At the end of the contest I can choose which design I feel is most adaptive to what I want and continue forth. It provides me with options, which ultimately is what I am want to design my life to have.

How can groupsourcing directly affect your work-task-related life and shave hours off of your workload? Well the beautiful thing with groupsourcing is that it too, like outsourcing, can be applied to almost anything in this day and age. If you have a presentation that needs to be given at work that you cant seem to complete and that has destined your next month to sleepless nights at your computer terminal, groupsource it. One can go onto sites such as elance and place a bid for a certain task to be done…..whether it be collecting information for a school report, to actually writing the report, to buying groceries, sending flowers to your wife, implementing market research, making appointments, the list goes on and on.

By placing the bid you see who is interested and by testing them , see who is actually capable of getting the job done for you. And with a task being performed for you rather than you performing it yourself , you now have the option to pursue something that you may not have had the ability to do so otherwise….spending time with family, picking up a hobby, regaining a social life again……. OH MY THE CHOICES!!!

Groupsourcing, when implemented correctly, can ultimately help in decreasing your life hours spent on work related tasks. And the fact that the big conglomerates in New York and Paris are doing it, yet do not want their employees to know about the method, should tell you something. If you want a lifestyle, or for what its worth even a LIFE, one may need to learn the art of groupsourcing…….atleast in America. Of course there is always Western European countries offering open arms to those who desire to work half the workload, and be content and merry with the remainder of their time. How to get there will be another post in and off itself. Until we can get there, we all have a little Habitual Work Syndrome that needs to be taken care of.

YOUR TURN TO CHIME IN 

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that you carry more of a workload than you see others with?  As a whole do you feel that Americans work now more than 25 years ago?  Please feel free to chime in and add your input.

Until next time,

Bunk Price
The Lifestyle Maverick

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10 Responses to “GroupSourcing; and How It Can Kill Your Habitual Work Syndrome(HBS)”


  1. Some great stats in there, Bunk. I work 60 to 80 hours a week at a full-time job and doing freelance work/blogging. At some point, I see the hours being reduced as the income goes up.

    It’s funny how individuals don’t consider that they could get inexpensive but quality outsourcing just like a major company can.

  2. bunk1980 Says:

    You bring about a good point Michael. Quality outsourcing at a good rate is still very feasible, especially when you use the groupsourcing method. Its all a matter of knowing where to look and the method that you implement.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Can you imagine if I outsourced. This does sound like an innovative idea. However, You know I live in the UK. We is lazy in Europe. Outsourcing to India, Thailand. The other side is over sourcing( Jennifer Term) When you lose quality of good ole’ American or European quality and efficiency due to outsourcing. Really do you wanna outsource my cuppa. I am one of these people,companies Outsource projects to. My rate is per project and not hourly or salary where the over head is insane. However, a lot of cost -cutters will choose to pay someone from India or China because of the price. However, you get what you pay for. (Lead in toys , poison dog food) But, I am a bit biased. Cheers- Good Article..

  4. bunk1980 Says:

    HaHa. Love the comments Jen. As always your input is more valued than you know. I deffinatly would not want to outsource your cuppa…never would.

    As far as getting what you pay for, I understand completely where you are coming from….Ive even been burnt by such. Which is why I always suggest to groupsource and run the top 3 performers of your certain task through a ‘mini-run’ or “test” to see who actually lives up to the quality and proficiency you are searching for. To me that is the advantage of grouping it.

    Thank you again for the quality input. You deserve a free cuppa for it : )

  5. Chuck Says:

    Great site you have here, and this post is right up my alley. Well done, sir.


  6. Bunk – I LOVE the part about Habitual Work Syndrome and working for work’s sake. That used to drive me nuts when I was working in the cubicle. There were times in my career when I literally had nothing to do and going “above and beyond” by creating a new idea would have been shunned or might have stepped on someone’s toes. I remember watching the clock like a high school kid waiting for the bell to ring knowing that life was going on right out side the office walls. How ridiculous.

    All of that said… Even though I have worked for myself for 2 years, I still think I have a bit of HWS – I still find myself filling up my days with work and can’t help but wonder if I really NEED to do this or if I’m just filling up my days because I think I’m SUPPOSED to. No doubt, its the latter. I’m so glad you brought this up… very thought provoking…

    Thanks!
    Christine

  7. bunk1980 Says:

    @ Chuck – Glad you enjoy the site. I appreciate the kind words.

    @ Christine – Im glad that the article spoke to you. And believe me I understand where you are indeed coming from. Having been a self employed/business owner for some time now I still find myself having a hard time fighting my “MUST STAY BUSY” fits every now and then. Thanks for stopping by !


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  9. Here in Australia we are working harder (and longer) than ever, but few are reaping the rewards. Having said that, I work within a small community of people who work hard on projects that are mostly passion. That tends to make it easier, as you’re really loving most of the time you dedicate. While I’m still exhausted at the end of the day, I have huge job satisfaction. The way I tend to ‘outsource’ is by looking within my own community and bartering skills. If I have a web geek, I ask him to give me a hand. In return, next time he needs the writing on a project polished he calls. It’s not measured or weighed, we just help each other as much as possible, pass on contacts and work when it’s there and all benefit from each other’s skills.

  10. bunk1980 Says:

    Lefa,

    That certainly sounds like a wonderful community is involved in. As Im sure when you have someone you can barter with who is able to passionatly perform a task for you it will only enhance the long term results.

    To me this is a great way of “bucking the system” or the typical design that most individuals put tasks into. Great input!


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